It’s with a heavy heart that the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN) mourns the passing of Tupac Enrique Acosta. Tupac lived his life steadfastly advocating for and protecting Indigenous Peoples’ rights and responsibilities. He was a founding member of the community based Indigenous Peoples organization, Tonatierra, in Phoenix, Arizona with the mission and vision:
To create and sustain a Cultural Embassy of the Indigenous Peoples that will support local-global and holistic Indigenous community development initiatives in education, culture, and economic development in accord with the principles of Community Ecology and Self Determination. NAHUACALLI: A Cultural Embassy of Indigenous Peoples.
Tupac was a principled man, a teacher and adviser. He held a vast knowledge of traditional Indigenous prophecy and cosmology, history, and the treaties between the original peoples and the colonizers who occupied Indigenous lands of the Southwest. He was tireless in those efforts, from prolific writing, teaching, on the ground support, creating ceremonial spaces, representing and advocating in Indigenous Peoples forums, creating alliances and friendships transcending political divisions, as well as looking after the Peoples in the area where he lived and creating a strong extended family with the Tonatierra Community.
For many years, Tupac successfully convened Encounters of Indigenous Peoples of Abya Yala in defense of Indigenous territories. Indigenous Peoples from across Turtle Island came together to establish a collective geopolitical agenda in defense of the rights of self-determination of Indigenous Peoples. These often ran parallel to the summits of the Organization of American States (OAS).
Tupac was also a well respected researcher and activist in the field of Indigenous international law. He served as a representative to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations in Geneva, Switzerland, and the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York.
His contributions to the Indigenous Peoples movement and circles he moved in were profound and will provide long lasting guidance to many in the years to come. Our deepest condolences and prayers go out to his wife Maria, his children and grandchildren, to the extended Tonatierra family, and his relatives of Calpolli Nahuacalli Izkaloteca. He was a fierce warrior who will be greatly missed and never forgotten.
The eulogy will be delivered by Mr. Oren Lyons, Faith Keeper of the Turtle Clan, Indian Nation Council of Chiefs of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, Haudenosaunee (People of the Long House). The family has requested that donations in Tupac’s memory be made on Tonatierra to support his legacy.
Please click here: visit Tonatierra to leave a message on his memorial page or to make a donation to the family.